According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace each year. Injuries on the job often require one or more missed workdays for recovery. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million a year in lost productivity, medical treatment and worker compensation.
In the UK there are numerous regulations on the requirement of adequate safety eyewear, such as the ‘Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998’ or the ‘Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002’. These give strict regulations on the role of your employer in risk mitigation, something you can take to them if they have not provided suitable protective equipment already.
It is not just a matter of regulations however, eye injuries can range from range from simple eye strain to severe trauma that can cause permanent damage, vision loss and blindness. No worker wants to experience these problems, and no employer wishes for them to either – regardless of loss of productivity or legal repercussions.
It is important that once eye protection has been assigned, that it is constantly used whenever there is a possible risk to the worker.
The NHS reports that 60% of workers who received an eye injury at work were not wearing eye protection at the time. Also, the 40% of workers who were wearing eye protection, were wearing the wrong kind of eye protection, wearing ill-fitting eye protection, or wearing eye protection that was badly damaged.
In the same report, the NHS stresses the importance of eye protection being correctly maintained, advising that scratched and dirty eye protection can reduce vision, cause glare and can even contribute to accidents. A consideration should be given to Anti-Scratch and Anti-Reflective coatings, something we can offer; however, all safety equipment should be correctly maintained until no longer suitable.
The list of possible hazards to your eyes is endless! One study in Scotland showed that of those eye injuries which occurred in the workplace and were presented to an A&E hospital, 56 per cent were not wearing eye protection. When these injuries can easily lead to permanent eye loss or damage, protective eyewear is always important.
What kind of risks are we thinking about?
- Flying shards of metal or glass
- Tools that slip or malfunction
- Particles such as wood splinters, metal shavings or crystalline silica
- Splashed chemicals
Then we have more unique hazards found in some jobs
- Bright light from Welding
- Sodium Flares from Glass Blowing
- Lasers accidentally pointing into eyes
- Radiation in surgical environments
There are even unique situational threats such as Viral – with the latest Pandemic, should you be wearing glasses with a full-seal to prevent transmission through your eyes? Our OnGuard 220FS offers are popular with medical personnel for this feature.
So now you know the importance of eye protection, what features should you consider when buying your next pair?
- Do I need side shields for added protection from flying debris?
- Will I use my eye-wear for distance, or reading, or a combination?
- Should I put a tint on the lenses for an additional protection from certain lights?
- Are the frames and lenses certified to protect me against the threats I face?
- Cosmetic options such as frames, mirror reflective tints etc
- What lens material is suitable for me? Do I require higher optical clarity?
- Additional coatings such as Anti-Scratch or Anti-Reflection?
Did you know that 94% of injuries obtained when wearing eye protection are caused by objects or chemicals going around or under the eye protection? Check out our range of frames with Side Shields.
If you are an employer, you should consider your responsibility on providing your employees with suitable protective eyewear.
No matter your concern, our team at Safety Protection Glasses is standing by to answer any of your queries on our glasses range, simply email us at Info@SafetyProtectionGlasses.com